Review -- The Price of Their Blood: Profiles in Spirit
by Jesse Brown and Daniel Paisner;
Foreword by Lois Pope
Jesse Brown was a young marine on patrol near DaNang in 1965, when a vicious firefight left his right arm partially paralyzed. After he was injured, he redirected his thinking to focus on what he could still accomplish, instead of what he could no longer manage. Facing a lifetime of disability, he heard the call to serve his fellow disabled veterans, and he joined the professional staff of the nonprofit organization, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in 1967
For the next thirty-three years, his service and dedication earned him the respect and admiration of those at the highest levels of government, culminating in his appointment as U.S. Secretary of Veterans' Affairs under President Bill Clinton. Under Secretary Brown's leadership, the VA expanded benefits for veterans who were prisoners of war or were exposed to Agent Orange, radiation, or mustard gas. Secretary Brown also directed the development of new homeless veterans programs at VA medical centers nationwide. After leaving the VA in 1997, he served with distinction as the executive director of the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, where he worked to create the first national memorial to honor disabled American veterans from all wars. He died in August 2002, after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral schlerosis (ALS).
Daniel Paisner is one of the busiest collaborators in publishing. He has helped to write dozens of bestselling and headline-making books with prominent entertainers, athletes, business leaders, and politicians. He has worked with Whoopi Goldberg, Anthony Quinn, Geraldo Rivera, New York governor George Pataki, former New York mayor Ed Koch, and FDNY battalion commander Richard Picciotto, whose account of his epic tour of duty on September 11, 2001, Last Man Down, became an international bestseller. His second novel, Mourning Wood, was to be published by Volt Press in January, 2004.
With war in Iraq continuing to wage, the brave individuals in the armed services are on everybody's mind. The stories of soldiers and veterans matter more than ever to Americans, as the interest in Jessica Lynch suggests. For every tragic story of a life unraveled by battle, there are a dozen tales of men and women who have managed to triumph over the harrowing experiences of war and ruin. The Price of Their Blood: Profiles in Spirit is a celebration of these triumphs, offered at a time when interest in patriotic heroes runs deep and passion for wartime remembrance runs high.
The Price of Their Blood, by Jesse Brown, written in collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Daniel Paisner, offers compelling portraits of more than a dozen American men and women, including:
Michael A. Naranjo, U.S. Army - a Santa Clara Pueblo Native American who was blinded and hand only partial use of his right hand, but went on to become an acclaimed sculptor--"the artist who sees with his hands"--whose works are sought by museums and collectors around the world.
Alfred Pugh, U.S. Army - believed to be the nation's oldest living combat veteran, suffered permanent laryngitis by the inhalation of mustard gas during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France during the first World War, before going on to a long career with the U.S. Postal Service in his hometown of Westbrook, Maine.
Felicia Weston, U.S. Army - partially blinded in a Scud missile attack on a warehouse in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during the Persian Gulf War, she now works with DAV, fulfilling a promise she made to herself to help others injured veterans put their lives back on track.
Where do you want to be today, tomorrow, next month, next year? We can all ask ourselves this same question. Put yourself in the shoes of these outstanding individuals profiled in The Price of Their Blood. Put yourselves in the shoes of the thousands and thousands of men and women now serving in Iraq, in Afghanistan, or other parts of the world where freedom is at stake.
I have never read a book with the kind of background offered by this book. It is a book you cannot put down....it will reach up and grab you and will not let you go without an impact! I am a veteran and I served during both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and this book changed MY life, for the better. The individuals in this book brought me to the edge of what life is all about and made me experience the thrill of victory and agony of defeat OF LIFE!
"For every tragic story of a life unraveled by military battle, there are tales of individuals who have managed to triumph over the harrowing experiences of war and ruin--and The Price of Their Blood is a tribute to those triumphs. It is a collection of motivating, inspiring profiles of some of America's truly 'unsung' heroes--stretching from a World War One veteran believed to be the oldest living combat-wounded serviceman in the United States at the time of this writing, up to a daring Green Beret caught in friendly fire in the unconventional, unrelenting war on terrorism in the Middle East that continues to dominate the world stage...
"Yes, these good people are my good friends, collected and cherished over the years along with countless others, and their stories offer inspiration and hope. Some will make you cry. Some will make you laugh. Most will make you do a little bit of both, because...... I've found that a rich sense of humor is almost always a key to overcoming life's obstacles."
- Jesse Brown
Former U.S. Secretary of Veterans's Affairs
Former Executive Director of the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation
One of the things Jesse Brown said in his Mission Statement for this book and printed at the start of this book is especially noteworthy: "One of the clinchers for me in deciding to take on this project was that it wasn't about me. It's about my fellow veterans--my fellow disabled veterans--for I've always believed that in holding a mirror to the past, we can see where we've been and where we're going. And that's not all: I also believe that those who have put their lives on the line for their country deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and this has been a hallmark of my advocacy work. This is especially so for our combat-wounded veterans and prisoners of war who return from service with those lives still very much on the line. There are life-threatening injuries to confront and surmount, life-changing disabilities to meet and master, and life-shaping experiences to make peace with and understand. These lives on the line are all over these pages (The Price of Their Blood...."
We live in America and we go day by day, many times taking for granted the freedoms we all experience. As a veteran myself, I thank God for each and every soldier, male or female, who puts on their uniform, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, or wherever, so that I can continue to live in America, secure in the knowledge that someone, somewhere, is out there doing what has to be done to give me the right to live as I now live. I know all Americans appreciate what our troops are doing for us and they are thankful, but there seems to be a tendency to take for granted things we need to focus on to remember WHY it is possible for us to experience them.
The Price of Their Blood retails for only $24.95 but you cannot measure the value of this book and what it represents in dollars and cents. The cost by those who are profiled in this book is much, much higher than many people can comprehend. The prices paid for our rights here at home were bought at a cost most people cannot afford to pay. You can get some idea of that cost and the dedication it took to make the sacrifices for that cost in this book. The Price of Their Blood is worth every penny you will ever pay for something you cannot afford to NOT read. It makes you realize just how lucky you are, to have what you have, and for the fact that you do not have to pay the price these people paid. But, they paid that price so that all of us could have the privilege to walk into a bookstore or wherever to buy this book.
I dedicate this review, a deep sense of gratitude and a lot of prayer to Jesse Brown, who paid his dues, to those he profiled in this book, and to all those veterans who are now serving to help make this world a better place to live and to help sustain our freedom.
Bonus Books and its imprints, Volt Press and True Ink, publish a wide variety of books designed to ignite the passions of readers. Volt Press and its serious non-fiction, pop culture and fiction titles address important topics that never go out of style. Bonus Books, with its strong backlist of how-to titles, offers readers advice on succeeding in their career, in their hobbies, and even in the casino. And True Ink focuses on helping Christian readers to think about vital issues. With more than thirty new titles each year and an extensive backlist of ongoing sellers, they have a book to engage the interest of every type of reader.
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ONE OTHER NOTE: All royalties from the sale of The Price of Their Blood will be donated to the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation.
Thank you Jesse Brown; thank you veterans; thank you VA; thank you DAV and all those out there who are helping to honor our veterans and give them the treatment and respect they deserve.